Sgt Grit Marine Corps Merchandise

Welcome to our Marine Corps Newsletter archives. Here you can find USMC articles and memories sent in to us by fellow Jarheads and their families. Enjoy!

Sgt Grit Marine Corps Newsletter - August 5, 2004

To: LtCol George Goodson
Thank you for a job well done, and Welcome Home!
(I'm definitely glad no one could see me as I was reading his letter!)

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Sgt. Grit,
Just wanted to take some time out to acknowledge the honor and courage of a Marine very near and Dear to my heart. Cpl Jason Simms was in the same vehicle that Lcpl Cregar of D Company 2nd Lar Battalion was KIA(mentioned in the last newsletter). I visited Jason at the Brooke Army Medical Burn Center in San Antonio Texas. Jason and Fellow marine (Sgt Rinehart) were flown there from Iraq, then Germany after an IED blew up their LAV on July 1st. Jason suffered 2nd and 3rd degree burns to his face and hands, Shrapnel that entered one side of his leg and existed the other which resulted in a severed tendon, and artery. He had a very large shrapnel wound to his thigh, lets just say, there were shrapnel wounds everywhere. Jason was in the intensive care unit on a ventilator for about a week. It was hard to see him go through so much pain and the first thing he wanted to know was about his unit and when they were sending him back. To a civilian, this may seem odd. The comment was even made by the father of another Marine in the ICU that the Marines must brain wash them, because his son said the same thing when he came to. As I Marine I can honestly say that we are not brainwashed, we just have Camaraderie. Our love is our Corps, and this is not something that we expect people to understand. These are men that Jason has spent several months with who have shared probably the worst experiences that a man could ever witness. They form a bond and a closeness, like brothers. Each man would give their life for the other, we are Marines, that is how it has to be. Jason is still in the hospital, and every day he gets stronger. His face has completely healed, and his hands are healing more and more each day. He is finally up and walking around almost 4 weeks after the injury and we expect his return home by Wednesday (July 28). These men are hero's. The stories Jason has already told me are like nothing I have ever heard or experience in my life. Can you imagine what it feels like to be on fire? Jason told me "I saw my hands on fire", he then proceeded to tell me that his face was on fire and he put it out by rubbing his face in the grass, can you imagine? When it all comes down to it we know why the Marines are always "First to Fight". Jason was very close to Lcpl Creagar, as I am sure all the Marines in his vehicle were. He told me that Lcpl Creagar was going to propose to his girlfriend when they came back from Iraq. Sgt Rinehart is doing well, his injuries were more severe than Jason's and he is still in the ICU, but Jason says he is doing well. Now that Jason is up and walking, he finally got a chance to see his fellow Marine, although he was not allowed in the ICU, just seeing him and knowing he was ok was enough for him. I am looking forward to meeting all of these brave Marines that Jason has told me so much about. These young men have been through a lot for our country, and their service will never be forgotten. My thoughts and prayers go out to all of the families that have lost their hero's, and also to those who are going through what I have been through in the past few weeks. Our Marines are brave, and unlike any men you will ever meet. That is why we are the few, the proud.
Semper Fidelis,
Sgt Jennifer McClintock


European Stars and Stripes
July 27, 2004
Marine Offensive In Afghanistan Called Unprecedented, A Shock To Taliban
By Jon R. Anderson, Stars and Stripes

KANDAHAR AIRFIELD, Afghanistan - Top military leaders in Afghanistan are hailing a Marine offensive deep inside southern Afghanistan's Uruzgan Province as the most successful operation here since the 2001 invasion.
Tucked away in southern Afghanistan's rugged mountains, the province has provided a sanctuary for Taliban holdouts and their al-Qaida supporters, say officials. But not anymore.
The Marine offensive, which began in March and is just now wrapping up, was the first incursion into the area by conventional forces. The Marines are credited with killing more than 100 Taliban and al-Qaida fighters during weeks of running gun battles in an area completely avoided by conventional U.S. forces until their arrival. "You're the best this place has ever seen," Army Maj. Gen. Eric Olson, the top field commander in Afghanistan, told a gathering Marines at Kandahar Airfield this weekend.
The Marines' offensive, he said, put the Taliban on the run in their own back yard.
"Never again can they use that place as a sanctuary," said Olson.
"You proved to the world the United States of America is going to take this fight to the most dangerous part of Afghanistan unafraid and absolutely determined."
Olson said the Marine offensive also caught the Taliban off guard. "You rocked him back on his heels. You knocked him on his ass.
"You went places that has never seen an American.
"You went to find him on his turf, on his terms, on his ground and kicked him in the ass.
"And that surprised him."
Olson said the MEU's performance had also "made an impression on the most senior leaders."
Quoting Lt. Gen. David Barno, the overall commander of U.S. efforts in Afghanistan, Olson said, "Never in the history of Operation Enduring Freedom has there been an offensive operation like the one the 22nd MEU conducted. Never have we been this successful. You have made history here."


Sgt. Grit,
If you have room, I would like to reply to LtCol Goodson about his letter:

LtCol Goodson,
Your letter was one of the most profound experiences of my 46 years of life. And one that I needed to hear very much with the anniversary of my father's death approaching. You voiced what a Marine's life truly is, Sir. With my father having been a Marine Combat Veteran, all during the years he was living, I bore witness to the many relived nightmares of combat. Like you, he endured the memories alone, never laying them on his family (except for the good things of being a Marine--the brotherhood), but a Combat Veteran can't stop what happens at night if he finally finds a way to sleep. And those are the times that we family members live it with them.

Having the honor to sit here reading your letter touched me more than I can ever express to you. You gave to me what my father would have given had he lived to reach your age, which he would've been had he lived. He died at 53 after several heart attacks, but he died a Marine. I am sad that he didn't live long enough to reach the point that you have finally been able to reach, but I am happy for him that he was spared that many more years of having to live it all.

I have full respect for the labor of love you have shared in Sgt. Grit's newsletter. It did not fall on deaf ears. I know that "thank you" seems so small in comparison to what your life has been, but I do thank you with all my heart. Please don't perceive this statement as disrespectful, but I have to disagree that you are "used up". You are every bit the Marine you were trained to be. You gave a fallen brother's daughter a very fitting testimony to what his life was. So you see Sir, you are still performing your Marine duties. Thank you for your service, thank you for my freedom to write this letter to you, and thank you for touching my heart.
Most of all, thank you for being a Marine.
With Utmost Respect,
Cindy Crook


Reference news letter from former Marine who never drank coffee. I also spent four years and never took up coffee drinking. At time it was difficult as I spent 20 Months in the Philippines at Subic Bay in a guard outfit. One of our assignments was about 10 miles away from main side and they ALWAYS had coffee around but nothing else except water. The shipped out the meals daily and there would be some milk (WARM OF COURSE). It gave me a sense of what a minority is.


Yo Ho Grit and Grunts everywhere, Shouse here back from the Annual Reunion of the KheSanh Veterans in Dallas. Sgt Grit we were glad to have you and your daughter in attendance along with another lovely little lady and the Gunny from your staff. Glad you all came down.

While all of us fine specimens of former active duty Marines were telling our stories of greatness on the battlefield of the Nam, I remembered one night we went out for listening post. I think there was 6 of us, anyway we split into 2 man groups and were going to set up about 50 or so yards apart. Nam nights are as dark as a black cat in a coal bin so trying not to alert any gooks in the area we went out around dusk. All of a sudden, we hear a loud "Son of B***ch" there is a snake over here as big as my leg. The guys "found" one of those boas or anacondas or whatever those big snakes were in the dark. Needless to say we did not hear any gooks that night. If they were close they probably had as big a laugh as we did. And just to let the animal activists know, there was no animal harmed in this action although I am sure the men involved would have loved to have had a change of trousers.

Guys and Gals say a prayer for our little Brothers and Sisters in the SandBox, and hope they get home safely. Let's make sure that they are greeted as Heroes when they return not as outcasts like some of the men we all know and served with. Semper Fi -My guys deserve to use this phrase- Ron Shouse


Hello all,
This past Tuesday our community lost a fine Marine, GySgt Shawn Lane, who was killed in action during a mortar attack, there will be a service at the East Corning Fire Department this Saturday at 11am, Any Marines, past or present would be more than welcome to attend, I'm sure the parents would appreciate the brotherhood.
The station is located just outside of Corning N.Y on rt 352 {east side of Corning} Semper Fi gunny Lane, we will all miss you.
GySgt USMC ret


In regards to sgt Grit Newsletter July 8, 2004 by Sgt Matt Kirk. I was in Plt # 718 serial # 444596 27 Aug 42. Sgt Kirk you must remember that the Marine Corps went from approx 50,000 people in 41 to approx 500,000 in 42 we were billeted in what was called the "berm rows", perimeter tents with floors , screens, etc. MCRD San Diego.Our D I's were two a CPL and a PFC. They did a magnificent job. The PFC was a new Marine who went to DI school the CPL was a veteran of the battle of the "Coral Sea" "Sea going" on the old "Lex" I hope that sheds some light on the subject.
Herb Jacques Still a marine.


Subject: RE: Marine offensive in Afghanistan a shock to Taliban

I am happy for the BLT 1/6 Marines in seeing this article. In Afghanistan, the Marines did what Marines are always trained to do -- take the fight to the enemy.

We killed over 100 of the enemy and captured 131 with only minimal casualties (although we did loose Cpl Ron Payne in an ambush). Post-battle results are higher on the number of enemy dead based on the number of bodies that were reported buried.

I know the enemy will remember this for a long time to come. To the enemy's credit, despite our reputation and combat power advantage, he wanted to engage and fight us. When he did the, MAGTF's combined arms decisively crushed him.

As the article states, these Marines have done more than any previous unit since the war started. I could not be prouder of the Marines of 1/6. All acquitted themselves with great courage. Some, while wounded, continued to chase the enemy in the mountains and eventually killed them.

These young men and women (yes, we even had women Marines with us as female searchers -- all did superb) relentlessly focused on the enemy in some of the harshest environment that Marines have operated in. Our vehicles went over 4000 miles (of which only 100 miles on paved road) on some of the roughest terrain imaginable.

Most of my Marines operated / chased the enemy for 3 months straight -- no showers, rack, hot chow, phones, or internet -- none complained. Most lost 15 - 20 pounds and are now fattening up in Kuwait as we get ready to backload and head home.

Some of the operations were at 9500+ ft elevations and the Marines did superb. We used donkeys to move our HMGs and for MEDEVACs.

In my view the key to success is nothing new: focusing on the tactical fundamentals, small unit leadership, and when in contact, winning the tactical fight -- always.

Take care and a special thanks from the Marines of BLT 1/6
LtCol. Asad Khan


Sgt Grit
I do not know if you could do this, but I would really appreciate it if you could forward this message to LtCol George Goodson.

Thank you for your service. I am currently assigned to and I&I Staff in Alabama. We are tasked with notifications of KIAs in Iraq for a large portion of Alabama. Approximately a week after this occurred, ad my first weekend of duty as an I&I we received a call about a notification for a LCpl who died of wounds in Iraq. The notification, which was done with my 1stSgt, a LtCol we "borrowed" from the MEPS and Air Force Chaplain (who was a prior service enlisted Marine Thank God)was the easy part. For close to three months, my 1stSgt had to sit with the family and help them navigate through the red tape of today's government. I was a motarman in the Gulf War, and ran security for our battalion's COC in Iraq for the war and 4-5 months that followed. The notification was possibly the worst experience of my life. The Marines dying I could handle to a degree. I think of it as going with the job. Telling a mother her only son was killed was .. well you probably know better than me. I just wanted to say thank you for your service.

SSgt S.P. Perry
I&I, Staff L/3/23
Montgomery AL
(formerly H&S CO. 1/7)


Sgt Grit,
Was reading your E-Mail and was surprised to see the name of a Marine I went through boot camp with. Plt 137, march-may 1954 (Craig Murchland) Our D.I'. were Cpl W.E. Cook and PFC F.H. Zambrano. With about four weeks left in training SSgt H.D. Marine and Sgt Butts became our D.I's. I spent a tour on the drill field (San Diego) and the lowest rank I saw as a D.I. was a Cpl (E-4) Times Sure Change.
GySgt Buddy Treichel 1954-1976
1488074 Retired


I am a daughter of a retired Major....who spent 23 years serving our country. When I was 11 my father left for Viet that point I had no idea of how honored I was and am to have a father who served for the time he did....I used to hate the move every 13 mom became an expert at unpacking and having everything "in order" by the time we came home from school. I have the Marines to thank for my ability to make friends and do my job with pride....something at times seems forgotten these days. When my father was in Viet Nam...we had to move off base and rent a home and my mom worked while raising 3 children. I think it is great we have such support groups for families who have been left at home while a loved one has served our country. My dad now has the biggest battle of his life...cancer. I would have never thought that my dad " MY JOHN WAYNE" has fallen to a disease. I am currently training for a Century bike ride to help for research for cancer. I wear a Marine T-shirt for my training and I get a lot of people who know what my father and family have delt with through our lives. Once ALWAYS!!!!
Semper-Fi Tammy


It's A Different World.....
My son of whom I am very proud, is a 2nd Lt. in the Air Force.
Last week his CO, a Captain, came into the large office where he and some other officers AND enlisted personnel were working. The Captain ASKED for a VOLUNTEER to vacuum the room!!!!
Everybody suddenly got very busy and avoided eye contact with the Captain. After a long period of silence my son took the vacuum and did the job.
I told him a few things. Among which are these.

#1- The Captain should have delegated it to the Senior NCO present.

#2- The Senior NCO should have not waited for the job to be delegated but should have taken it upon himself to delegate it.

#3- My son should have taken the vacuum, handed it to the most junior enlisted personnel present and said "Here you just volunteered!!!

Apparently in the past, according to my son, he has overheard the enlisted personnel talking that they wished the CO was more forceful and have more of a command presence!!
Eric Olson
Sergeant of Marines


Sgt Grit,
I have written in the past on my battle with brain tumors and how the Marine in me has given me the strength and fortitude to do battle on these invaders. In February of 2002 I was diagnosed with what they called a GBM Multiforme Grade four Malignant tumor in the right temporal lobe of my "jarhead" They removed the lobe and the tumor. Six months later I had to have a second surgery to remove two recurrences, this left me partially paralyzed on the left side of my body that has since came back about 99%.I then had another two appear. I have an area on my website that will play the Hymn when clicked on and I wanted to proclaim that in the past six months an experimental oral chemotherapy drug cocktail and the grace of God has shrunk and made the two tumors disappear. What part of this story that leads me here is back in October of 2002 the doctor told my family, not me, (I heard this later) that I had only about six months to live and that I should think of quality of life and not quantity. I decided then and there that it was going to take a whole lot more than brain tumors to take out this Marine!!! I have been all clear since Dec 03, scanning every three months for now. The ole Marine Corps Spirit has kept me alive in more than one way. Semper Fidelis
Sgt. David M. Hartway
Desert Storm Vet and Survivor 1986-1994
P.S. I would have been in still but sustained injuries in Desert Storm


Sgt Grit:
In reference to the below article, I offer the following to Steve Bosshard and any Marine.

The name of the song is "Moving On" sung by Oscar Brand in the Marine Album titled: "Tell It To The Marines"

For I happened to own such a Marine masterpiece and it only cost me $4.79 back in 1969 or 1970. The following songs are in this album:

Side I - (1)Honey Baby - (2) Call Out The Corps - (3) Man In The Moon - (4) The Reserves' Lament - (5) Wake Island - (6) Dinky Die - and (7) Gee, But I Wanna Go Home

Side II - (1) The United States Marines - (2) Moving On - (3) Pua Pua - (4) Cuts And Guts - (5) Old Number Nine - (6) Bless Em All - and (7) The Marines' Hymn

I will have to hook-up the Old Turn Table and listen to songs and write them down. If any Marine would like a copy, e-mail me at:
and please make reference to the album title on the E-mail subject line.
Semper Fi
Roberto T. Castillo
E-4 - Vietnam Vet - 66'-67'-68'
This Marines' Personal Marine Motto:
"If Being A Marine Is A Disease, Let No Doctor Find A Cure"


Sgt Grit,
Please let T. Newman know that he is not alone. I too, am a former Marine and a non-coffee drinker. It's funny, because I was just questioned about this recently. It's not that I have never drank coffee, or that I don't like it. It's just that coffee doesn't like me. However, there were times when being alert was the only way I was going to stay alive. Those times called for drastic measures, and therefore, I would pour the instant coffee from an MRE directly into my mouth and wash it down with funky canteen water. Huh...and there are people who still don't think we are a different breed.
Semper Fi,
Chuck Springer
"Ready For All, Yielding To None"
2nd Bn 7th Marines, 1990-1994


When we got to Ky Ha the UH-34 guys used to sing a song at the club that went: (Yo, Ho, Ho you and me flying all around in a 34D) it had great words to it but I can't remember the rest of them. Are there any 34 guys out there that remember the words? Another song heard around the club was a Kingston Trio tune with new words by Marines that went something like this: He may fly forever through the streets of Hue he's the man that never returned. They were great club tunes and everybody joined in after a few brews, but I can't remember all the words. Maybe somebody out there remembers them.
Semper Fi,
Tim McMahon HMM-262 RVN 66-67


Semper Fedelis Marines.
As tragic as it is that our brothers and sisters get promoted to get the golden stripe on their trousers as the red stripe fades, we all can say that unlike many people in the world, we as Marines and family members have a welcoming committee waiting at the gates to heaven...So keep your heads up because we are the best people in the world and above...GOD know this or he wouldn't have allowed the United States Marine to become...As the bible says in the beginning. GOD, said let it be and it was, that was to include all things. Well, GOD rested on the 7th day, somebody had to take post while he rested, I wonder who that could have been...
Take care Marines, care of you families, friends and enemies...


On your Marine USO BS page in the USO section there are photos of a Bob Hope USO show "USO Pictures DaNang 1971" that were submitted by Cpl. Frank Dias, Those photos were taken at Freedom Hill, Danang, RVN on December 24th 1970. I was at the same show. Bob Hope, Johnny Bench, Lola Folana, Gloria Loring, Gold Diggers, and I believe Miss Universe/USA? The UH-1E was painted by HML-167. I too departed RVN in May 1971. You are doing a GREAT job.
Semper Fi, Cpl. Jim Fong Maint. Bn 1st FSR/FLC 1970-1971
MGYSGT Jim Fong 6119/USMCR (Ret.) 1973-1994


Here is the verse to movin on. Look the gook comin' down the pass playing burp gun boogies on a doggies's ass, he's movin on, he'll soon be gone, they're shooting to fast for his little ol ass, he's a-movin on. verse 2. Up on the mountain checking the scene is a hard-ass Gunny, he' s a bad-ass MARINE he's movin down to save that army clown, it takes MARNE CORPS PRIDE, to save the army's hide we're a movin on. these are the verses I remember. Keep up the good work SgtGrit.
Lcpl G.D. Vallejos USMC


Sgt Grit
Just finished reading LtCol Goodson's letter and it was a real heartbreaker and eye-opener. That has to be one of the toughest jobs in the Corps. Reminded me of duty at MCRD in fifty one when the Korean dead were returned. I was stationed at MCRD San Diego in the MP detachment and we had a lot of funeral details to handle, we had a field mouse(bugler) who had to make all the funerals and when he played taps it brought tears to everyone's eyes. This was considered an honor to do this duty but we never had to come in close contact with the family unless they requested it. My heart goes out to the LtCol and hope he can recover from it.
GySgt David M,Erickson


In response to LCPL Parson's ltr THE CORPORATE LADDER...Bravo Vulu. I as a retired USMC, Master Sergeant of Marines....I just wanted to say that you just put the whole vet/civilian relationship right into the X Ring...I too work for a fortune 500 company since my retirement from the beloved Corps. I have experienced the same thing over and over again that you have. True, the only ones you can trust, within reason are the vets. I have two vets who are Marines. Their trust is unquestionable...Nicely written observation and advice for the Devil Dogs who may be separating from the Corps soon....Semper Fi, Mac


Sgt Grit,
I thought Mr. Ron Dohre might be interested to know that when I went through PI, one of our Junior DI's was PFC M. J. Cronin, presumably the same Drill Instructor that shepherded him through 11 week of fun and games. We were Platoon 146, 3/4/5 4- 5/12/54. We also had two PFC DI's, Cronin and C. T. Salvage.
I have been enjoying this newsletter for the past couple of years and have wondered if I would ever see the name of someone I knew from my Old Corps.. Now I have. CPL Harold Hyde ,1462371, '54-'57


While waiting to depart for Vietnam my friend had gone into the local SATO office on base to confirm his wife's flight from California back to the Midwest. Standing outside the office she ask me why some of the Marines had a red stripe on their dress blues and some didn't. Being a bit of a jokester, I told her that the Marine Corps makes you wear the red stripe for 6 months as punishment for catching STD. Her reply was "OH". Being PFC's my friend's dress blues did not have the red stripe.

Fast-forward 14 months.

Returning to the real world my friend was excited to see his wife after such a long time and to show off his ribbons and Corporal Stripes. His wife was excited to see him until he came into the terminal wearing his Dress Blues. She refused to talk to him because he had been unfaithful. As much as I tried to vouch for my friend there was no convincing her that he had remained faithful to his marriage vows. Finally asking how she could possibly know that he had cheated on her she pointed out the red stripe on his dress blues as proof! After soliciting the answer from several other Marines she was finally convinced as to the real reason for the stripes.
Semper Fi
Cpl. Flattem
Nam 69-70-71


Here's one for T Newman the non coffee drinker. I began my tour in Nam in Oct 66 but was a volunteer so I found myself in Dong Ha in Jan of 68. I was an E-4 then and I volunteered for perimeter duty. We were set up not far from the Med facility and the South Vietnamese unit was to our left front. The first day I got on the line an old grizzled Ssgt grabbed me and said, "OK son you are the new Corp of the Guard. Drink a lot of coffee 'cause you ain't sleeping much tonight." I told him I didn't drink coffee and he looked at me like I was the dumbest thing that walked and had two stripes. Then he said, "Well, if you fall asleep you'll find a knife in your kazzoo. (That is a bit cleaned up from what he actually said.) How about tea, do you think you can drink tea?" I had always liked tea so I told him sure. He then brewed the foulest, blackest, nastiest lukewarm tea I ever tasted and made me drink it all night to keep awake. I never fell asleep while on the Dong Ha perimeter from Jan to Mar of 1968. I guess you can develop a taste for anything if you get enough of it.

Except Kimchee. Oh no, can't stand that stuff. Was stationed with the 2nd Korean Marine Brigade (Chung Youngs - Blue Dragons) in 1967 (another volunteer thing from Jan to Apr) near Quang Ni (I think that was where it was, about 16 miles south of Chu Lai). They put that darn Kimchee in everything. Lord I got sick of it. Lived off of a #10 can of cherry pie filling that I pilfered from a mess hall in Chu Lai for three days.


sgt grit-
i agree with cpl smith in the july 22nd newsletter saying that semper fi is just another saying these days, along with band of brothers and gung ho. it gets me mad when a civilian comes up to me and says semper fi devil dog or ooh rah or something. in fact it almost disgusts me UNLESS its a veteran, another thing that makes me upset is when people in who are awaiting to go to boot camp claim they are a marine and say semper fi. ah well just ranting everyone has there own opinion. I've seen many instances of a dude claiming he's a marine after he takes his oath at meps. quick story anyway so im a pvt on recruiters assistance (basically free leave) and im at the mall in dress blue deltas walking with another pvt on r.a. too and here comes what we think to be an officer. we do the boot thing all green marines do and try and walk away or look away and pretend we didnt see him. anyway, he walks up to me and starts chewing a$$ for not saluting him. i take a closer look at his uniform and notice that hes not even usmc but hes ROTC. the tides quicky change and to make a long story short i made this dude cry and embarrassed him in front of his little rotc buddies. dont ever mess with a marine in dress uniform no matter what rank, ah well love the newsletter keep em coming sgt.
cpl neuman 3rd radio bn


Sgt Grit,
As I count down my last days of my 23 years (4 days) Active duty, I look back at a career that was only originally meant to be only four years...and I don't regret a day that I served during that or beyond! It's amazing at how fast the years have vanished, and at how much fun they actually were. I enlisted in Bellevue Ne and went to MCRD San Diego and my first duty station was Cherry Point...Well, I out processed at MCRD San Diego, drove to Bellevue Ne and will Make Cherry Point my home (for now) about full circle. What a ride. As I depart the ranks of the Active, I sleep easy at night knowing that "Our Corps" is in good hands as is testament by the acts and deeds accomplished as we speak in Iraq and Afg. Semper Fi to all
Michael Small (IYAOYAS)
MSgt (Ret)


Love your weekly newsletter and hearing what other Marines are doing. I just got back from the blood bank, where I left pint #65. I first got into the blood donating habit while at Quantico Virginia. Memorial Day weekend was looming and we all wanted to be gone. Word came down that a pass would be given to anyone donating a pint of blood that week. I went and donated and have been at it pretty regularly ever since. Just one of the many good things to come of my time in the Corps. Back then we called it Vampire Liberty. I am a huge Civil War fan and used my pass to go to Manasses and tour the Bull Run sites. I grew up in the shadows of Antietam and Gettysburg and have visited those sites numerous times. Since coming to Tennessee I have visited many of the sites here as well.
Keep up the good news.
Semper Fi
Sunny Barnhart, USMC


In answer to the Marine who never drank coffee. I fought in World War II (Philippines) and am one of the Chosin Few. I have NEVER had a cup of coffee.

I remember once when I was battalion duty sergeant. I was supposed to finish up my shift early morning and was required to make the colonel coffee and have it ready.

Well, I sweat many beads until I found someone who I knew that could show me how to make coffee.

I've never smoked a cigarette (pipe only) and have never had coffee and I am in excellent health (80 years old).

Semper Fidelis
Lee Bergee
USMC (ret)


Sgt. Grit,
Through the bulletin board at I have come to personally know our true modern day heroes. I have conversed with Renee' Ayres, wife of Lt. Chris Ayres. I have become best friends with Estela Duran, fiance' of SSgt. Ismael Sagredo, who along with Lt. Ayres, battled their way out of a fierce firefight in Sh!thread Alley. I converse with the mothers and fathers of our brave Marines. The wives and girlfriends who so selflessly put their lives on hold for the greater good of our nation. It amazes me that I can talk with true modern day American heroes and gain historical perspective from Marines who have fought in every major conflict dating back to WWII all in one place every single day. Sgt. Grit, your board makes me even prouder than ever to have worn the uniform of a United States Marine and I never thought that could be possible. Thank you Sir and Semper Fidelis.
Tom Briel


I want to"Thank You" Sgt. Grit, for remembering all Marine's. I am the son of a WW II Marine, who is now deceased and has joined his other fallen "Brother & Sister Marine's".

My Father was a Sergeant in the "USMC", for a couple of years during WW II, then got busted down to a Private for hitting an Lt.. He fought in the Pacific Theater against the Japs. He was at "Iwo Jima," Siapan," Tara Way," and "Guadalcanal," he told of how the fighting was and how cruel the Japanese soldiers were to Allied Prisoners; Dad told about how the Japs would sneak into their positions at night to kill American soldiers. On the night my Father was wounded in combat, he and his German Sheppard Dog were in their Fox Hole; a Jap soldier had snuck into their camp, Dad's USMC Dog alerted him that this Jap soldier was nearby, the Jap soldier saw my Father and raised up, fired his Rifle striking my Father in his left leg, just as the Jap soldier was getting ready to Bayonet my Father, his Marine Dog attacked the Japanese soldier, and tore his throat out, killing the Jap soldier, as he fell my father rolled over just as the Jap Bayonet lunged forward and struck the ground beside him, barely missing my Dad. My father spent almost 11 months in a Seattle, Washington Hospital, a metal plate had to be surgically installed in his left hip as the bullet had shattered part of his hip bone.

I "THANK GOD for ALL MARINE'S," past and present, for their sacrifice, loyalty, and service to ALL Americans. Everyone in this country should stand firm for our Service Men & Women, no matter where or when they served OUR BELOVED COUNTRY in their Military Duty.

My Father's remains are located in a Cemetery not far from where I live, I go and visit his grave site always touches my Heart when I THINK OF HIS BRAVERY AND ALL HIS "Semper Fi" comrades, I always stand at attention and Salute my Fallen Father's Grave, even though I have not served in the Military, I feel this is something I should do for Him and for other Fallen Soldiers, whether in battle with a Fierce Enemy, or with a Battle with an Enemy of Sickness that has taken their lives.

THANK YOU Sgt. Grit for keeping all "Marine's," alive in our memory and in our memories of each Individual American. My Fathers Name is: Pvt. Charles B. Castle, Sr. He will always live in My Memory and I hope in All his Comrades in Arms.

Charles B. Castle Jr. Son of a USMC Pvt.


Hello Sgt. Grit.
For the Marine saying how MCRD San Diego had changed since he had be there in the 80's. I was there in 1961 and can only imagine how it has changed in the last 43 years. While I was in boot camp, my brother Cpl. Douglas Coleman was on the other side teaching electronics. Twelve weeks we were on the same base and he wouldn't even visit at Camp Matthews. For you that do not know what Camp Matthews was all about. Remember that rifle you were issued and became you best friend? Camp Matthews was located at La Jolla Junction about 15 miles north of San Diego and its primary function was for weapons training and qualifications. The U.S.M.C. International Rifle and Pistol Team was also stationed there and it was my good fortune to be assigned to the team from boot camp. The team also used a campaign hat to identify them. While many were assigned to work with the team, only shooters had the honor of wearing that emblem that most boots learned to greatly fear and respect. Have to admit that walking into the base post office while a platoon of boots was quite a bit of fun for one that was only out of boot camp for sixty days. Boots to the left of me, boots to the right of me, all yelling to make a hole. I apologized to the DI, a Corporal, for causing any problem and he was smiling like no DI I had ever seen before. Told me that he was glad to see how his platoon had responded to a private with a "smoky bear" cover.

Camp Matthews was closed in 1962 and is now, after being cleared of unexploded ordinance, is now part of the California school system but I still get a great feeling of pride at having served there whenever I pass by.

There is one incident while I was on the team that I have to share. We were at Lackland AFB in Texas for a match and one of the fringe benefits is that the whole team, regardless of rank, were assigned quarters in BOQ. We had arrived late in the evening and the only thing on my mind was sleep and I misread the number on the door. I was sound asleep within minutes. In the morning, I woke to see a Marine blouse with (I think - it has been awhile) three stars. It took no more than a few seconds to realize that I had picked up a roommate during the night and the stars brought be to attention while still supine under the covers. As most young men of 18 do, part of me was at attention that I wished like h*ll would go away. I heard a deep but friendly voice telling me at ease, as much as I could, and suggested that I may be more comfortable in another room. I was dressed, packed and out of the room in under five minutes. Turned out the General was Commandant of the Marine Corps Reserves and a member of the International Pistol Team. Laughing now is easy but then, I was one shaken Marine that dishonored the Corps by shacking like a leaf in fear for the next few hours. I made sure the next room I selected was occupied by an just enlisted teammate.

Howard Coleman L/Cpl (and a greybeard that wishes he could help out in Iraq and all the location my comrades are serving)


I served my time and want back...
After serving 10 years in my beloved Corps and leaving for my family, I have tried to return to it as a 40 year old 2nd LT, only to learn that I waited to long to rejoin the life I loved and left behind. They turned me down.

My 17 year old son Thomas, just enlisted in the delayed entry program.

I wish you could have seen the look in my eyes! I just wished that his grandfather, a WWII veteran Marine looks down from guarding heaven to see the PRIDE in his son's eyes that his grandson said the same words I did 24 years ago to the recruiter, "I want to be a MARINE". My mother and fathers duty station is Arlington National Cemetery.

When I travel back to Parris Island to see him graduate next year will make my life complete and complete a full circle of the life of sacrifice that my father, myself and my son have made.

I have 1 more son (Derek) that is striving to make that same commitment of Semper Fidelis to Family, Country and Corps, he is only 14 and working on losing some weight to make it to enlist in our beloved Corps....He will make it and his father has faith...
Semper Fidelis,
Tom Vormwald -(AKA) SGT V-dog - Sgt. USMC-1980-1990


Sgt. Grit.
As a member of the Marines Memorial Club in San Francisco, (, I get the Club's Crossroads of The Corps Newsletter. In the Summer 2004 issue just received, the Club's President and C.E.O., Maj.Gen. J. Michael Myatt USMC (Ret.) had a very interesting item that should be of great interest to all Marines. Rather than explain it myself, let me quote the item as written by Gen. Myatt:

"I want to make you aware of a rather unusual situation that has developed in our war against terrorism, and to ask for your help. Among the severely wounded Marines, Sailors and Soldiers in this war, many are sustaining horrid injuries that require extensive hospitalization and rehabilitation before they are processed by a Board to discharge them medically. During the time they are being treated in the medical facilities, their families are forced to bear the financial burden of travel expenses to the hospitals, and the costs of lodging, food and child care while they are visiting their loved ones.

"Many of the families are really in need of financial help to be able to be with their wounded loved ones. The wives of the I Marine Expeditionary Force have formed a 501c3 foundation to raise funds to help these families be with the wounded, which helps the Marines heal faster.

"If you would like to help these wounded Marines and their families, send your tax deductible donation to Injured Marine Semper Fi Fund, 825 College Blvd., Ste. 102, PMB 609, Oceanside, CA 92057."

I'm sure your readers will want to contribute to this most outstanding foundation if they are able to. My check is on the way.

As an aside, I will never forget the day I first met Maj.Gen. Myatt. It was his second day on the job at the Marines Memorial Club. My wife and I were there for the Easy Company, 2nd Battalion, Fifth Marines (Korea) Reunion, and we were in the elevator coming down from our room to the E-2-5 Hospitality suite several floors below. The only other person on the elevator was this very distinguished looking man in a suit. After saying "good morning" to each other, I asked him if he was also a Marine. He told me he indeed was, and said he was Gen. Myatt, the new President of the Club. He wanted to know the occasion for our stay and I told him. Neither of us had any idea what was happening as we were chatting. He was still on the elevator when we got off on our floor and headed for our hospitality room where we were to gather for a tour of Alcatraz that day. You could normally hear our fellow Marines long before you reached the room, so I was wondering why it was so quiet as we entered the room. It was full and I noticed they were all gathered around the TV set. With horror they were watching the two airliners crashing into the World Trade Towers in New York City. That day was September 11, 2001! We did not go to Alcatraz!

It took us a week to get back to Virginia, and Gen. Myatt and his staff were of immeasurable assistance helping us.

God Bless all our Marines, Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, and Coast Guard members, National Guard units and all Reserves, and their families, for the sacrifices they are making on our behalf. And let's do all we can to help them when they become injured as well. Here's one very worthy way to do so.

Semper Fi.
Gerald F. Merna
Mustang, 1stLt USMC (Ret.)


Sgt. Grit
I read your newsletter every week and in the most recent there have been comments regarding the use of Semper Fi. My son is active duty and the Corps has changed his and our life in many positive ways, we cannot thank the Marine Corps enough. I respect all Marines to the max and certainly do NOT want to use the term if it is not appropriate. I have asked other Marines and have never heard that is incorrect for me use. I would appreciate some response from your readers on the subject. Thanks!
Father of Cpl Bush


Friday we received our first thank you for our MCL presentation the following is what it said: Dear Chaplain Renfro and Honor Guard, Word's cannot describe my family's feelings when you paid homage to a fallen comrade in arms. We will never forget it, is etched in our hearts and memories. The day before Dad passed away he told us how and why he became a Marine. He was in the ROTC at Indiana University and upon his graduation in May 1942 and was preparing to enter the Armed Forces. He first went to the Army and did not like the way they did business, and so he went to the Marines. We believe that choice made all the difference in our Fathers life and your ceremony profoundly underscored why. The Certificate and medallion will be cherished in our family forever, with deepest Gratitude, The Family of Robert Heath...

When I opened this letter and read it, proved to me that the families we honor and their Marine is worth all the effort we put into the "Fallen Marine Program". We are not doing this to tote our own horn but to render honor to our brother/sister Marines and their families. Here is our the figures since we started in March 2004: Presentations 15, Condolence Cards mailed out 34, Semper Fidelis.......
Paul R. Renfro Chaplain


I was in the 2nd-MAW TACC in 1967 when we got just what all small groups needed. What was that you asked? A GRUNT TOP (E8). Yessriree. We were going to relearn to march and all of that other stuff REAL MARINES do. That included setting up a regulation coffee station. All will contribute to the coffee fund, says TOP. But TOP, I don't drink coffee says I. SOOO what! We will all function as a group, says TOP. Well, some how it got to the CO, Maj. "Q". Maj. "Q" said that I didn't have belong, or pay, if I didn't drink coffee. Thank you Maj."Q". No that wasn't the end of it. I did not have to belong or pay, but I (not as punishment) did have to make all of the coffee. But TOP, I have never made coffee. SOOO what! You'll learn. REAL MARINES can make coffee. So I started making the stuff. It was bad, real bad, said all of the drinkers of my coffee. Soon I was warned that TOP was going to visit early one morning to see how I made coffee, and adjust what ever it was that I was going wrong. TOP watched and approved of what I did, but the coffee was bad, real bad. I was relieved of coffee making, after dumping the whole 5 gallon coffee maker in the parking lot. After that TOP made the now excellent coffee. I have never admitted, until now why the coffee was bad. Not my fault!? It was the fault of the BABO scouring powder that kept falling into the pot AFTER I rinsed it out. NOTE: I still don't make or drink COFFEE.
L/Cpl C.F.Holmes H&HS28 MACG28 TACC Cherry Point NC 1967-68


Interesting to say the least, all of the wonderful letters I have read in this newsletter. I am the wife of a Marine, an 81 year old Marine who was on Iwo and watched the first flag being raised. He said he heard cheering and turned from what he was doing on the beach and saw the guys raising the flag. To think that my husband is part of history is nothing compared to the fact that he was, and still is, a proud Marine. He was with the 1st Marine Raider when he first went over in 41' and after being wounded, went back over with the 4thMarDiv. He has wonderful stories that our young Marine friends enjoy listening to, but does not talk about his medals. That's a typical Marine. Semper Fi to all you fabulous human beings.
M. E. Rogers
Proud Wife of WWII Marine


It happens to be a rainy Sunday here in NY, so I decided to finish the latest newsletter from I am now thirty-seven years removed from Khe Sanh, but reading through the news letter I realize that all the families of Marines share a great deal of pride both in their loved ones and the Country and Corps they serve. The families of Marines deployed in combat have always, and continue today to support all our fighting men and woman. Instead of whining about the hardships they are all experiencing they find ways to be constructive and supportive. I know the support I received back in '66 and'67 made my task a little easier. I wish Gods speed to all our troop presently deployed and to their families,
Cpl E. J. McCarthy
Kilo 3/9/3 66.67.


Sgt Grit,
Many thanks to SSGT Luciani for the reply and the photos. They sure took me back! I too was in 2nd BLT (2063) and recall vividly running up and down that outside stairwell many times. In fact, here is a funny story regarding that very stairwell. I may have sent this one in a few years ago. If so, I am sorry for repeating myself, but this one is worth hearing two times in my opinion.

OK then, everyone of you remembers hearing this, "two sheets, blanket and fart sack..get on"! HEH, HEH. Well, you also probably recall having at least one chap in the platoon who slept on his made-up rack, so he didn't have to make it every morning. Well, we had three or four of those guys (I even tried it once until I decided shivering all night was not worth it), but it backfired one early morning on one of them.

The DI's always told us in case of a fire drill to wrap both sheets and blanket around your body and descend the stairwell and fall into formation. Well, one morning we get a fire drill and every swinging di*k wraps up like we were taught and hauls ass down the three flights of stairs, except for one guy who doesn't want to mess up his rack. Well Sgt. Mazenko, with his keen eye, spots the lone chap standing in formation in his skivvies minus his sheets and blanket and asked him what the f*%k he thinks he doing. Mazenko decided that we wanted to "play games", so he had us (with 3 minutes to do it and 2 were already gone) run back to the 3rd deck, make our racks and get back down in formation. When that was done he had us run back up and retrieve one linen item at a time and race back down in formation...that was 6 trips (2 sheets, blanket, fart sack - loved that name, pillow case and pillow. Then we had 3 minutes to get back topside and have our racks made. All this took place sometime around 4:30am, so we still had a good hour of sleep left when Mazenko was done with us!
p.s. Where the h*ll did the term "fart sack" originate.
Semper Fi!
Mike Kunkel
Cpl 0331, 81-85


dear sgt. grit,
i just wanted to pass along a message to all our marines serving the country proud during our times of turmoil.having served in the corps. 82-86 and currently serving in the us naval reserves as a master at arms 1st class petty officer, i 'm also a sgt. on an army post for the department of defense. i have approx. 33 officers under my command and i just want all the marines to know i have a hand full of marines under my command and it is a pleasure and an honor to see the difference of these young marines who've served this country who've gone down range and who have come home to us safely and to see them wear the DOD uniform as proudly as they would wear their dress blues. being a marine myself and seeing the difference of these young marines and my other officers just puts a lump in my throat just like the one i had when i graduated from the island. so my message to all marines young and old redeemer your training today is tomorrows legends, semper fi and god speed.
forever a marine sgt. alpha 3 oorah and carry on marines


For Sgt. Grit, this is just a follow-up to our earlier correspondence. Again, thank you for your assistance in this matter. For my other friends, I just want to pass a story on to you because I know that you'll appreciate the moral at the end of it.


When I was in the Marine Corps, assigned to HQ-FMFPac, Camp Smith, Hawaii (1969-71), I had two really good buddies. One was from North Carolina (Carey Holloway) and the other was from Massachusetts (Mark Manozzi). For over thirty years, I did everything in my power to locate these guys because we had spent some really great times together. I went to various Marine Corps-related websites and posted on any that had "buddy finder" type services that I was looking for these guys.

Last year, unbelievably, I got an email from Carey. Carey said that a friend of his from work, who was also in the Corps, was reading one of these Marine Corps-related websites and spotted Carey's name as someone who was being sought out. He gave my email address to Carey and we started emailing each other, picking up as though we had never been separated. One of the first things Carey asked was if I had any contact with Mark Manozzi. I replied that, although I had done everything in my power, I couldn't find him. Last either of us had heard, Mark had become a Drill Instructor at MCRD Parris Island. After that, it appeared that he fell of the face of the earth. Carey & I continually emailed each other, referencing Mark all the time.

Last Thursday night, I collect my email and, as usual, get Sgt Grit's newsletter, the best source of real Marine stories I've yet to find. Anyway, about halfway through this edition, there's an article from a Recon Marine responding to an earlier question posed by another Marine. This Recon Marine signed his message as "Mark Manozzi". I couldn't believe it! I was absolutely floored! Knowing that I couldn't just ask Sgt. Grit to send me Mark's contact info, I sent Sgt. Grit a message telling him that I've been searching for my bud for over 30 years and could he please pass my info on to Mark. Friday night, when I turned on my computer, I got a response from Sgt. Grit, saying that he had, indeed, passed my info on to Mark. I also received several messages from Mark! He was as excited as I was that, after all these years, we finally located each other. I immediately emailed him back and, wouldn't you know it, he was online and responded back immediately. He got out of the Corps in 1984 and became a Massachusetts State Trooper. I told him that I was still in contact with Carey and he immediately asked if I could pass his info on to Carey, as he was just as anxious to talk to Carey as I had been to him. I immediately sent Carey a message, stating that I had *finally* found Mark, after all these years. Again, I was ecstatic that we would finally be able to "get together again", even if, temporarily, it would only be through email contact.

When I checked my mail Saturday night, I was thrilled to see that Carey had replied to my message of the night before...until I opened it and found this:


Dear Rick,
My name is Betty Holloway. I'm Carey's wife. Carey passed away at 6:15 AM July 24th from a blood infection. We got him to the emergency room Friday night, but they just couldn't get it under control. I'm so glad he got to email you for a while. He was always talking about you.I'll be keeping his email address open in case there was anyone else that he had been talking to so I can let them know too. Please don't forget him.
Betty Holloway


The moral to this story, my friends, is this: Please do everything in your power to locate any of your old buddies that you can.
Life really is too short.
Take care and Semper Fi!,
Rich Cervenka
L/Cpl - U.S. Marine Corps (1969-71)
Sgt. - Chicago Police Department (1973-2004)


L/CPL William N. Thompson wrote in the last newsletter about listening to Chicken Man in 1991. This sounds like the same program that I listened to in 68 and 69 in Nam. Funny stuff! If I can get my reel-to-reel working, I might be able to listen to a couple episodes that I taped. I know I even have the Goooooooooooooooooood Morning Vietnam taped a couple times. So, I wonder how long Chicken Man has been around. Is it still going on now? And I wouldn't mind getting a copy of a CD or tape that I could play. Thanks for the memory trip.
CPL Al Nagel RVN 68-69


Hello Sgt. Grit,